The Echo Drive public boat launch at Prospect Lake will no longer be accessible 24/7.
During a Monday night meeting, Saanich council voted in favour of directing staff to add a lockable gate to public boat launch – located at the end of Echo Place – “to ensure the safe and respectful use of Prospect Lake.”
Mayor Fred Haynes, whose own home borders the lake, put the motion forward in an effort to allow “optimal use in the daylight hours” and to stop after-hours use.
Haynes explained that the District had received complaints of noise disturbances coming from people using motorboats on the lake after dark.
He noted the use of motorboats at night is a concern not only for the residents who need to be able to sleep but for the nocturnal animals who move about the area after dark.
“The lake needs to rest at night,” he said.
Haynes also pointed out that there are safety concerns for the boaters, the residents, the police who respond to the noise complaints and the wildlife who call the lake home.
With the addition of a lockable gate, motorboat-users will only be able to access the lake from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m., Haynes noted, pointing out that there was already a Saanich bylaw that prohibits boaters from being on the lake 45 minutes after sunset.
He explained that the addition of a lockable gate at the Echo Drive launch had been a topic of discussion for “a long time” and since many other parks in Saanich already have gates, agreeing to install one now made sense.
Haynes noted that the new gate will be locked by the existing contracted staff who lock other park gates and public washrooms in the municipality.